“When the wick was lit, a gallon jug filled with gasoline didn’t ignite as one might suspect. Gasoline itself doesn’t burn—its vapors do. The narrow opening at the top of a jug allowed only so many vapors to escape at a time. The gasoline itself acted as a coolant, letting the device burn as slow and steady as a kerosene lamp. It could be 21 minutes before the jug’s plastic melted, allowing the gasoline and its accompanying vapors to spread across the porch. Once it did, the fire would reach the wood or aluminum siding.”


[1] Image: Gasoline  by Tom Pfannerstill. Acrylic and/or enamel on carved basswood, 12.5 x 16.
[2] Article: In Letters From an Arsonist Dave Jamieson examines the life of serial arsonist Thomas A. Sweatt. A homosexual black man who used pyromania as a form of sexual release, Timothy Sweatt was known to have set hundreds of fires around the greater Washington D.C area.
[3] Video: Fire – Arthur Brown – 1968.